Chelsea fans were taken on a trip down memory lane after Trevoh Chalobah posted a photo of the club’s ‘Class of 1999,’ featuring a host of players who have gone on to become household names.
Several of those Blues present in the picture—taken on the pitch at Stamford Bridge—will be part of the squad that faces Manchester City in this year’s Champions League final on May 29.
Mason Mount and Reece James are very much part of Thomas Tuchel’s first-team plans and should have roles to play in Porto, with the former in particular being a key part of the XI.
Chalobah tweeted the photo on Friday, accompanied with the description: “Big throwback with the boys, we call this one ‘the class of 1999’s’”:
The caption—a nod to Manchester United’s famous ‘Class of 92’—was accompanied by crying-with-laughter and baby-face emojis, in jest at how young he and his former team-mates looked.
Supporters attempted to identify every subject in the photo now that many of those present are making an impact in the Premier League and beyond, while others marvelled at the talent on display.
One user posted a fire emoji and praised the quality of the youth team: “What a squad.”
Another was unsurprised to see senior star Mount with an individual award in-hand: “Mason holding a trophy here as well, baller since the beginning!”
Chalobah, 21, will return to west London this summer after spending the season at Lorient, who are fighting to preserve their place in Ligue 1 as the French campaign closes on Sunday.
Dujon Sterling, also 21, is another who remains on the books at Chelsea, while defender Marc Guehi—currently on loan at Swansea City—could still have a bright future with the Blues.
West Ham captain Declan Rice is the most notable figure among that youth squad who’s gone on to achieve outside of Chelsea, having left the club for a move across London aged 14.
Eddie Nketiah is still seeking his major breakthrough at Arsenal, while former Liverpool starlet Rhian Brewster has been relegated from the Premier League after he became Sheffield United’s record signing.
Conor Gallagher was also part of a relegation campaign after failing to keep West Brom up, though he’ll return from his loan at the Hawthorns hoping for a first-team chance under Tuchel.
From that group, Mount and Rice have already bedded themselves into Gareth Southgate’s England midfield, while right-back James is also hoping to travel for Euro 2020 this summer.
Chelsea’s academy has in the past attracted criticism for hoarding so much young talent within its walls, but images like this serve as proof their youth system works in producing future stars.
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